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June 18, 2021  

Physician Immigration Reform in 2021

This Bulletin is brought to you by AHLA’s Academic Medical Centers and Teaching Hospitals Practice Group.
  • June 18, 2021
  • Greg Siskind , Siskind Susser PC

Reform of immigration policy and programs has been difficult to achieve in the U.S. Congress. Legislation affecting health care and physician immigration has not occurred since 2004, despite legislation being introduced every year on the subject.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the election of President Biden may increase the likelihood that 2021 will see legislation addressing physician immigration move in Congress, but the odds against passage of immigration reform are still formidable. And any legislation affecting physicians that increases access to medical care in the United States is consequential, considering the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly a quarter of the international medical graduates (IMGs) in the U.S. are immigrants and, in some specialties, particularly primary care, the percentage is much higher. And the U.S. is facing a shortage of doctors that is growing by the year and is expected to exceed 130,000 by 2033.


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